When Gooney Bird Greene opens the door of Mrs. Pidgeon's second grade classroom, wearing pajamas and cowboy boots, and announces that she is a new student, things are never quite the same for the Watertower Elementary School second graders. Gooney Bird's outlandish outfits, unusual lunches, wild red hair and her extraordinary stories (which by the way are all "absolutely true") combine to make Gooney Bird a remarkable character. Over the course of the next seven chapters, Gooney Bird shares her unbelieveable stories, which include "How Gooney Bird Came from China on a Flying Carpet," "Why Gooney Bird Was Late for School Because She Was Directing a Symphony Orchestra" and "Beloved Catman Is Consumed by a Cow," and it turns out they all have plausible explanations.
As Gooney Bird relates her stories, she also slips in lessons on the elements that make up a good story: a clear beginning, middle and ending, a strong main character, suspense and plot twists. She also convinces her teacher and her classmates, from the shyest to the most outspoken, that they all have stories to tell from the events of their own lives.
Gooney Bird is a fun read and a good book for readers who enjoyed Junie B. Jones and Clementine. Sequels include: Gooney Bird and the Room Mother and Gooney Bird Is So Absurd. 2002